Dr. Katherine Skillestad Winans

Associate Professor
Director of Clinical Training, Psychology


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, 1995
M.A. in Psychology, California School of Professional Psychology, 1992
B.A. in Psychology, Carroll College, 1990


I earned both my Master’s Degree and Doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology with an emphasis in Psychodynamic/Life Development while enjoying all that San Diego has to offer.  Despite my extensive training and immersion in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, my professional career began in the prison system where I stepped foot into prison for the first time at my internship in Florida with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  Within just a few weeks of being on my internship, I was hooked.  I loved the fast pace and exposure to every kind of psychopathology with individuals from all over the world.  Little did I know at the time this would be a life calling; to serve the most vulnerable people in society that most people tried to forget.

Throughout my training and career, I worked in a multitude of settings including a state hospital, nursing home, private psychiatric hospital, school setting, community mental health, outpatient drug treatment facility, and federal prison.  I supervised forensic evaluations for the federal courts and was involved in the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act throughout the country.  My areas of expertise include staff and program development, suicide prevention, and working with individuals who experience severe mental illness.  In 2015 and 2017, I was awarded Supervisor of the Year at FDC SeaTac and in 2016 was nominated for the Federal Bureau of Prison’s Mary C. Lawton Lifetime Service Award.

During the last 15 years of my career, I served as the Chief of Psychology Services at the Federal Detention Center in SeaTac, Washington.  I was fortunate to supervise practicum students during my career and always thrived off of their positive energy and optimism.  In 2018, I retired from the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons, with over 24 years of service.  I am grateful for my experiences and excited to start this new chapter at Northwest University!

I am passionate about social justice, serving my community, and destigmatizing mental illness and have been writing a column for a community magazine for the past year.  My greatest joy is spending time with my husband, David, and our two children, Evan (19) and Laurel (17).  I love to garden and cook, play games with my family, attend Mass, play the piano, travel, watch NCAA basketball, and attempt to work on my tennis game. 

Selected Presentations

Winans, K. (2016-2018).  Federal Bureau of Prisons, Chief Psychologist Familiarization Training, Training provided to newly selected Chief Psychologists, Denver, CO.

Winans, K. (2017).  The Corrections Panel.  Presentation for Introduction to Criminal Justice Department, Seattle University.

Winans, K. (2016).  How to Stand Out and Get the Position.  Presentation for Western State Hospital APA Psychology Interns, Lakewood, WA.

Recommended Reading

  • The Knowledge of Man, Selected Essays, Martin Buber
  • Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
  • The Inner Game of Tennis, W. Timothy Gallwey
  • The Word Collector, Peter Reynolds
  • Love’s Executioner, Irvin Yalom